We grow 10 varieties of blueberry bushes in the field and in our nursery. The Blueberry Season in Central Ontario is approximately mid-July to mid-September. Varieties have different ripening times to provide nearly eight weeks of delicious fruit! All of the berries have a unique flavour, but all are sweet, if left on the bush long enough to fully ripen.
DUKE (large berry, early ripening)
PATRIOT (large berry, early ripening)
BLUE JAY (large berry, early-mid ripening)
NORTHLAND (medium berry, early-mid ripening)
BLUERAY (large berry, mid ripening)
BLUECROP (large berry, mid ripening)
NELSON (large berry, mid ripening)
RUBEL (small berry, late ripening)
JERSEY (medium berry, late ripening)
ELLIOT (large berry, late-very late ripening)
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about our availability of a variety.
BLUEBERRIES - Highbush blueberries prefer to grow in well-drained, acidic soils (pH between 3.5 and 5.5) that are high in organic matter. A very small portion of the world is naturally suitable for growing blueberries, but with some ammendments you can grow them many places!
When planting blueberry bushes at our farm, we dig a trench and fill it with wet Canadian Sphagnum peat moss. Canadian Sphagnum peat moss is naturally very acidic, fosters good drainage and has high organic matter, making it perfect for growing blueberries. In the wild, blueberry bushes thrive on the high, dry spots of peat bogs. We have also spent considerable time and effort amending our soil to create the right ph.
Blueberry plants from our nursery come 'bare root' with Canadian spaghnum peat moss clinging to the roots. Blueberry bushes prefer full sun, or at least half a day of hot sun (afternoon). The bushes grow 4-6 feet tall (depending on the variety), and 3-4 feet wide. At full production, at 7 years of age, you can expect approximately 10 pounds of berries per bush. From years 3-7, the amount of blueberries produced each year will grow and grow. Bushes that are taken care of properly - pruning out of older canes (5 year old branches) and regular fertilizing, can live 30 -50 years or more!
The best time to plant is in the fall or spring when the bushes are dormant, using Canadian Sphagnum peat moss.
Here are different ways to plant blueberries at your own place.
Smaller numbers grow well in a raised bed:
Dig up a small amount of your existing soil, a couple of inches deep, and then lay landscape cloth in the space where you want to create the bed in order to discourage weed growth and to stop leaching of your existing soil into the peat. Put the wet Canadian spaghnum peat moss around your bushes, about 10 inches deep, and 24-36 inches wide. Blueberry bush roots do not penetrate deep, but do like to spread out a bit. We would recommend covering the peat with a mulch of your choice so the peat doesn't dry out too quickly, and again to keep weed growth down.
In the ground:
If you have sandy soil, planting the blueberry bushes right in the ground is a good option. If you choose to plant directly in the ground, excavate the existing soil at least 10 inches deep and 24-36 inches around each bush (depends how much peat you want use - the more the better). Again, landscape fabric is a good way to help keep the soils separate. Cover the area with wood chips or mulch, along with the rest of your garden, and you have a seamless incorporation of an acid loving plant.
Simple Fertilizer, Watering, Pruning for Small Numbers of Plants
It is important to apply fertilizer twice a year, but no later than mid-July. Possible fertilizers include ammonium sulphate, urea or Triple 20 (i.e. Miracle Gro) fertilizer. Try to use fertilizers for acid loving plants, to help maintain low pH. It is important not to fertilize too late in the season, i.e. no later than mid-July, or else the bushes will be too stimulated and not harden off in time for winter.
Organic options for fertilizing your blueberry plants include: bloodmeal, or you can make your own fertilizer by saving and compositng coffee grounds and leaves (maple and oak are the best). Mix these items together and allow them to compost, stirring occasionally. Put a couple of handfuls on each bush in the spring, and your bushes will be very happy!
During the first year of planting, watering is important to help establish the root system. Bushes should be watered once a week, and maybe more if the weather is particularly hot and dry. However, over-watering is a concern. If you have mulch on your bushes, you may only need to water every other week. If the soil is moist, that is enough water.
In the beginning, your bushes will not need to be pruned. After about 5 - 7 years, it is important to remove 1-2 of the older branches from the base each year to promote new growth and increase the amount of blueberries produced.
Through these simple practices, blueberries can grow and thrive for many years. For more information about caring for blueberry bushes, please send us an e-mail: email@example.com
Organic Natural Spray
On our farm, we avoid chemical sprays or pesticides. We use a very simple recipe to keep our plants healthy, green and strong. This can be used on any fruit or vegetables, approximately every two weeks:
In a clean spray bottle, mix the following:
- 3 teaspoons of hydrogen perxoxide (3% peroxide available from department or pharmacy stores)
- 500 ml of water
- 1 squirt of liquid dish soap (e.g. palmolive)
optional: we add in a bit of organic foliar fertilizer when we spray this solution to give the bushes an extra boost. We add a teaspoon of Lithovit foliar fertilizer, which we have available at the farm for anyone interested in trying it.